I think that I've found the answer to my original question. In a letter dated February 15,1967 from Lexington, Kentucky,where he was living at the time, he writes:
"I have a large amount of information on the Graves County Holifields you mentioned. They are descendants of brothers of your great grandfather. One of them lives in Lexington, and I have talked with him on several occasions.
"Your great grand father was the son of Elizabeth Copeland (1782-1864) and William Holifield (1784-1860). His father was said by Marvin B Holifield to have been an Oliver Holifield (Holyfield) of Chatham County, North Carolina, but I have found nothing to substantiate this. No Oliver Holifield of that period; and no Holifields in that county--but there were some in adjacent Wake County."
So this appears to be the source for Oliver. I wonder if anyone has dug around in Wake county?
By the way Mr Hollifield,III does not appear to be related to us but was from Maryland. It would be interesting if some member of his family had his papers.
My aunt recieved letters from him from Luthersville, MD Lexington,KY, and later from Knoxville, TN. The time span on the letters were from January 16, 1967 through November 7, 1971. Six of the letters I have copies of were from the January 16 through May 14 of 1967. The November 7th one is a brief note really. There is also a letter from WHIII to Mrs Gene Bradley from 1965.
Well maybe someone will read this and it will be of use. By the way if you don't have a copies of these letters and would like them you can e-mail your address and I'll copy them and send them to you.